Cardiff & Caerleon

My final day in Wales began with an exploration of Cardiff.  From the  Millennium Arts Centre (the national home for performing arts) to Cardiff Castle (and the animals adorning its gate), it was a splendid morning.

From here we moved on to Caerleon, our last stop in Wales, and the site of a roman amphitheatre and fortress.

And unfortunately that was it! We made our way back to London.  I found on this tour, I was a bit tired, which made me more interested in chatting with my fellow travellers and less interested in taking pictures.  But rest assured, even though there aren’t very many pictures from these 5 days, the tour was brilliant, Wales was brilliant, and I’m counting down until I can go back.

Counties

South Glamorgan
Cardiff

Gwent
Caerleon

Beddgelert, Dolgellau & Devil’s Bridge

Day 4 started with a visit to Beddgelert, to see the grave of Gellert.

The story goes as such: Gellert (the dog) belonged to Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd, a gift from King John of England. One day Llywelyn returns from hunting to find his baby missing, the cradle overturned, and the dog with a blood-smeared mouth. Believing the dog savaged the child, Llywelyn draws his sword and kills it. After the dog’s dying yelp Llywelyn hears the cries of the baby, unharmed under the cradle, along with a dead wolf which had attacked the child and been killed by Gellert. Llywelyn is then overcome with remorse and he buries the dog with great ceremony. However he can still hear the dog’s dying yelp. After that day Llywelyn never smiled again.

Next up was a lunch break in Dolgellau, a cute market town.

Our next stop was the Devil’s Bridge in Ceredigion. This legend goes that around the 11th Century, the Devil visited Wales as he had never been there before and he had heard that the scenery was breathtaking. He soon came across an old lady who seemed upset.

“What’s the matter?” he asked out of curiosity.

“Oh, I’m in such a terrible muddle and I don’t know what to do! My cow has wandered across the river and I can’t get her back.”

“Ah!” said the Devil. “What you need my dear, is a bridge, and I am just the man to build you one. Why don’t you go home, and in the morning there will be a bridge waiting for you. All I ask in return is to keep the first living thing to cross the bridge!”

“Okay then” she said. “It’s a bargain. I’ll see you in the morning. Nos da, Goodnight”

That night she wondered about this stranger who would build her a bridge. “What a strange request! Why should I cross the bridge to get my cow back if he gets to keep me in exchange? Mind you it is very tempting offer.”

The next day she got up and called for her faithful dog. Together they went down to the river. “Well well” she couldn’t believe her eyes. In front of her was the best bridge that she had ever seen! “I told you that I would build you a bridge” said the Devil, appearing from nowhere.

“Now it’s your turn to keep your side of the bargain.”

“I know, you get to keep the first living thing to cross the bridge” and she started to walk towards the bridge. But just when she got to the entrance, she stopped, took a loaf of bread from her apron pocket and hurled it across the bridge. As quick as a flash, and before the Devil could stop it, the dog chased after it. “Aaaaaaagh!!!!!” screeched the Devil. “You stupid old woman, I don’t believe it! Your smelly, hairy farm dog has become the first living thing to cross my bridge. It’s no good to me” he screamed and then he vanished.

Well, the Devil was never seen in Wales again as he was so embarrassed at being outwitted by the old lady. High in the mountains near Aberystwyth, there is a village where a very old bridge crosses a deep gorge. Above it are two other bridges built at later dates. But the lowest one….Well, they say that the Devil himself built it!

I would also like to point out that I bought a sheep shaped tea pot for my mom, and managed to fit it in my bag (along with my bowls from Turkey) and not break it for another 3 weeks!

Our final stop of the day was in Cardiff, the capital city.  I spend a lovely early evening wandering through Bute Park.

Counties

Gwynedd
Beddgelert
Dolgellau

Dyfed
Devil’s Bridge

South Glamorgan
Cardiff